At seventeen, Wall
as a student in the Art Students league, but was told he was already
more accomplished than any training they could offer. He
his own studio in 1894, only to close it again when he enlisted
during the Spanish-American War. When he returned,
he took a
job with a picture frame company, Ullman Manufacturing Company,
which contracted him to design pictures that would help sell their frames.
When Ullman moved into the postcard business, so did Wall,
began designing postcards with his signature characters, the
Sunbonnets. They became immensely popular by 1906, and he was soon represented by no fewer than fifteen postcard companies.
Perhaps because of Wall's army experiences, many of his
illustrations have a patriotic theme, including several depictions of
Teddy Roosevelt's "Teddy Bears."